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Monday, May 09, 2005

Mother's Day Nightmare 

On the moblog I set up Friday, you'll see photos of Sophie in a veterinary ER clinic.

Brad and I drove to Chicago Friday night to spend Mother's Day weekend with Jolie, who flew in from NYC. We had a great time on Saturday, and I documented some of the highlights in my Dispatches from the Field.

Sophie during our Saturday morning walk.Early Saturday and Sunday mornings, Sophie and I walked along the river across from Marina City (image right: Sophie poses during our morning walk on Saturday). However, during the morning walk on Sunday, our weekend took a dark turn.

While I was looking across the river to the Chicago Tribune building, Sophie jumped up on a seat built into the wall and from there hopped right up to the top of the wall, where I suppose she expected to find another flat place to sit. Instead, the wall was rounded on top, and hid a 15- to 20-foot drop to a sidewalk below. I screamed as I saw her go down. It took me a slow-motion minute to get to her. She called out to me 4 or 5 times as I was running around to a ramp down. When I got to her, she was struggling unsuccessfully to stand.

I held her still and called Brad, who was sleeping back in the hotel. While we waited, another tourist who'd seen the frightening incident ran to our aid. She helped me stand while cradling Sophie, and she answered my cell phone when Brad called back – I wish I'd gotten her name to thank her. Brad and Jolie had gotten an emergency vet's address from the helpful concierge at the pet-friendly House of Blues Hotel. After finding us, Brad and Jolie hailed a cab, and we arrived at the vet's 10 minutes later. By then, Sophie's right eye was closed and her pupils were different sizes. X-rays showed that she hadn't broken anything, but she had some air between her heart and sternum. She spent the next 21 hours at the clinic, on fluids and under observation. I spent Mother's Day sobbing.

After leaving Jolie at Midway for a 6am flight this morning, Brad and I picked up Sophie. She was so happy to see me, she jumped from the crate 4' up – the vet and I caught her just in time! Her gait is still a little unsteady, and her right eye is a bit swollen, but she seems to be doing pretty well considering how hard she'd gotten whacked. When we stopped at Lincoln Park on our way home, she grabbed a stick and barked for me to throw it.

What a lucky little dog!

Sophie's fall from Upper Wacker to Lower Wacker

UPDATE 13 Aug 2006: During our last Chicago visit, Jolie posed a few feet from the spot where Sophie had landed. The red line shows the trajectory of Sophie's fall from Upper Wacker to Lower Wacker.


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